Young wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, top-order batsman Ambati Rayudu and experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma have been named among the standbys for India’s World Cup squad, reigniting their dashed hopes of making the trip to the United Kingdom in case an injury setback hits the side.
Speedster Navdeep Saini and left-arm spinner Axar Patel have also found a place in the list of five back-ups for the mega ICC event starting on May 30.
A BCCI functionary on Thursday revealed that the five players have been informed about the stand-by list and they should be ready to take the flight if and when needed. Interestingly, Saini will already be in England with Virat Kohli & Co. to help the batsmen prepare for the tournament.
“Ishant, Axar, Pant, Rayudu and Saini are aware that they have been named stand-by. The board has informed them about this and while four of them won’t be travelling with the team like Saini, they have been asked to be ready to jump onto the plane whenever needed.
“We were looking at two batsmen, two pacers and a spinner when we decided to name the stand-by players. As you are aware, this year’s format will see every team competing against every other team in the tournament and covering the bases is very important in such long format tournaments,” the functionary explained.
Earlier, Rayudu had taken to Twitter to take a dig at his omission from the 15-man squad on Tuesday.
“Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” Rayudu wrote on his Twitter handle.
This was after the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad justified Vijay Shankar’s selection over Rayudu, citing the former’s “three-dimensional qualities”.
While Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar will be travelling with the team purely as net bowlers, they can also be drafted in if the management feels so.